Time After Time
Ok, I have to admit something. I have a weird fixation about time. It can border on obsessive. It's the only thing I have ever been able to estimate with accuracy. Pretty much at any point of the day, I can guess what time it is and be within five minutes of the actual time. I have no idea why I have this ability, but I can remember it starting at a very young age. I was totally the kid on the road trip asking, "Are we there yet?!" I always wanted to know how long "it" would take (it being whatever was going on). My dad helped me measure time by telling me how many Inspector Gadget episodes I'd have to watch before "it" happened. And so, my obsession began. Although at times this obsession can drive me crazy, it turns out this part of me has been incredibly helpful in my journey with God. Counting time and using it as a marker is one of the habits that helps prompt me to connect to Him in the moments of my life.
Time Is A Tool
Being mindful of time can be one of the best tools we can use in helping us with our relationship with God. It can be a great reminder and a tool of discipline that keeps us focused on Him. What we know of our Jesus is that He was constantly connected to God, and that made all the difference. Hebrews 12:2 tells us, "Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way." Time can be a great cue to do just that - helping us keep sight of where we're headed in this journey called life. There are a couple of ways I use time as a device to reconnect.
Two Ways To Use Time To Your Advantage
One way is as a flexible schedule. I know there are multiple times throughout the day that I am going to direct my focus. I like to start first thing in the morning when I wake up by simply meditating on who God is. I claim as many truths about Him as I can. I mentally say: God you are good. You are always working for my good. You are guiding me every moment of every day. Every moment of every day you are providing for me and supporting me perfectly. You are Love and you are in every cell of my being.
I do this again before I go to bed at night. Depending on what is going on in my life, the truths I claim may vary. When I am hurting, I remember He is my comforter and my ever-present help in trouble. When I am afraid, I remember He is my refuge and safe place and always available. Also, at meals I will stop before I eat and thank Him.
Another way I use the clock to my advantage is by choosing a certain time every hour to turn to God. I sometimes set an alarm. There are a lot of really cool apps to help you in this practice. Every time the alarm goes off, center your attention on God. I find taking a deep breath and repeating a Bible verse (or spiritual truth I love) to be helpful. Often I simply invite God into my situation and express my willingness to see things as He does. There are so many wonderful options for this. It really depends on what works for each individual person.
Time Is Meant To Help, Not Imprison
In all of this, as a person who can get a little crazy about time, I have found it's necessary to remember that my connection with God is not determined by whether or not I follow my schedule or connect with Him at my set reminder time. He is always there, actively loving and supporting me. I can tune into that whenever I need to (and hopefully often). I have to be aware of when tracking time becomes more important than God. If I don't, time can actually turn into a prison. The purpose of time is simply that of a gentle cue to turn the focus and intention of our heart, mind, and life right back to The One who loves us perfectly. In doing that, we provide an opening for God to create something beautiful in and through us. And it really is so much better than we can even begin to imagine.
What About You?
How do you feel about time?
Are you using it as a reminder to turn to God?
If not, how can you?
What do you do to connect with Him and stay connected throughout the day?
As you take the challenge to be mindful of your time with God this week, you might try using one or more of the tools below. Meditate on the verse in the morning, or each time your alarm goes off. Listen to the song and really listen to the words, imagine God singing the chorus to you. Pick one of the meditations to practice - a different one each day, or one to focus on for the whole week.